15 Fashion Tech Business Conferences you Should Attend
The rapidly shifting world of retail, fashion, and apparel requires constant monitoring and change. Connecting fashion retailers with technology innovators cultivates a symbiotic relationship wherein a flow of ideas is generated and shared between them. Participating in industry conferences, trade shows, and workshops is an excellent means of keeping not just abreast of fashion market changes, but staying ahead of them.
NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION BIG SHOW
New York City
A juggernaut in the retail tech industry, NRF’s 2017 Big Show is its 105th. The convention and expo welcomes tens of thousands of the fashion and retail industry IT giants and conducts ‘Innovation Labs’ that display the latest technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, and 3D printing.
TECH FASHION WEEK
This year’s theme is “Digital Fashion’s Coming of Age”. The week-long conference hosts fashion technology creators to discuss digital infrastructures that disrupt fashion and retail. The application of virtual reality, wearables, and IoT technologies are explored.
PRODUCT INNOVATION APPAREL
Hong Kong - Berlin - New York City
PI Apparel events are devoted to preproduction and production technology as well as innovation in supply chain and sustainability practices. This conference takes place in multiple key global cities every year. In 2017 alone, PI Apparel hosted retailers and fashion technology experts in New York City, Berlin, Texas and Hong Kong.
NEXT IS NOW
Hosted by Visual Next, this conference is centered around the fashion, apparel, and footwear industries key challenges and technology trends through the eyes of technology experts. It aims to identify the pertinent needs of retail and fashion businesses and address them with tailored solutions. The 2017 summit tackled four paths to sustainability: “the macro perspective, circular design, supply chain transparency and sustainable consumption.”
Distributors, manufacturers, fabric mills, and other suppliers to these uniform companies convene at the annual exposition. Industry information and forecasts are discussed amongst leaders in the uniform industry as well as technology experts to help manage their business.
COPENHAGEN FASHION SUMMIT
The summit’s principal focus is on sustainability in the fashion and retail industries. Leading NGOs, policy-makers, and academics connect with fashion and technology experts to discuss how fashion tech can play a part in solving the planet’s most critical issues.
THE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTES (IFFTI)
For the 19th year, IFTTI is holding its annual conference to promote interaction between students, educators, and researchers in the fashion tech sphere. Their aim is to provide a catalyst for change from the industry’s old ways and make way for a new generation of fashion professionals who use technology to break the rules.
FASHION TECH ASIA
This event celebrates the marriage of retail and technology by bringing leaders and innovators from both fashion and tech companies together in a high energy one day experience. A special feature includes a fashion tech catwalk.
WEAR IT BERLIN
The first day of Wear It is ‘Experience Day’. Speakers, roundtables, and workshops focus on wearable tech and the experimental startups on the scene. Day 2, ‘Focus Day’ involves more fashion technology and smart textiles and how collaborations happen across these industries.
FASHION TECH BERLIN
Focusing on the ever-changing business models of the fashion and apparel industry, the Berlin-based conference, exhibition, and trade show is conducting five masterclasses, including “How to Retail Effectively Using Data.” Keynote speakers include executives from Refinery29 and Facebook.
WWD DIGITAL FORUM
New York City
In the fast-paced world of fashion and apparel, leaders in the fields of technology and retail come together to brainstorm new solutions to even newer challenges. Topics explored this year will be conversational commerce, Gen Z readiness, and retail beyond mobile.
FASHION TECH FORUM
Fashion Tech Forum’s manifesto is to bring together fashion leaders with established and startup technology companies to innovate the retail industry. Topics discussed this year include, “The Intersection of Fashion and Performance,” “Data is the New Oil,” and “The Future IOT: Innovation of Things.”
UNIFORM RETAILERS ASSOCIATION TRADE SHOW
Every year at the annual Uniform Retailers Trade Show, uniform retailers meet and check out the newest products in the industry. Newcomers and veterans in the uniform business alike will have a platform to showcase their work and draw inspiration from peers.
New York City
Bringing together retail and apparel with tech companies, new ideas will be cultivated and collaborations between designers and the tech sector will be fostered. The event entails live demos, mentorship sessions, and an exciting speaker panel. 2017’s speakers include Google’s Lisa Green, Reebok’s Bill McInnis, and Equinox’s Carla Dunham.
Merging fashion and technology, the summit comprises panel discussions, keynote speakers, and roundtables. World-class retailers explore breakthrough technologies and collaborate in order to continue competing in the fashion market. This year’s theme will be “Culture, Digital, Data: Unified Commerce.”
Other Events That Make You Rethink How You Do Business :
A young but powerful presence in the conference scene, Collision hosts heads of tech startups, investors, and all around influencers in the technology field to showcase their latest ideas and products. This year’s speakers include Alexis Ohanian, Chris Sacca, and Twitch’s Kevin Lin.
Once a year, the C2 summit brings together thousands of executives from around the globe to be inspired by out-of-the-box ways to lead an enterprise. C2 offers talks given by industry giants. In previous years, Martha Stewart, David Suzuki, and Diane Von Furstenberg have been keynote speakers. C2 also conducts a brainstorming ‘lab’ and workshops for attendees as well as performances by local and international artists.
The Annual Gathering of Games
If your business is a practitioner of open-book management (OBM), then this is the conference for you. For its 25th edition, Gathering of Games’s agenda will feature 35 breakout sessions, ten roundtable discussions, nine workshops, in addition to presentations and talks.
Digital Nomad (DNX)
As its name suggest, DNX centers on assembling online entrepreneurs to speak to one another about their experiences with web-based businesses. Talks will address the challenges of online entrepreneurship as well as advice on the best mobile technologies.
“A conference about the design of everything” is the self-given description of this event. In order to rise up to its moniker, Cusp invites over 25 speakers from disparate industries in order for ideas to converge and grow. Past speakers have included Robert F. Kennedy Jr., cartoonist Lynda Barry, and TED founder Richard Saul Wurman.
South by Southwest
One of the biggest gatherings of the world’s most creative minds, SXSW’s ten-day conference is comprised of music festivals, exhibitions, and networking opportunities. Of particular note is a three-day style event that connects members of the fashion community and apparel retailers with technology experts to discuss where they intersect in sustainability, wearable technologies, and design.